Hard News by Russell Brown


Friday Music: Summer Live

We should all understand that the continuing strength of New Zealand's dollar makes life hard for exporters and is unsustainable in the long term. But it sure does help us see a lot of live music every summer.

Up until this week, I'd bought tickets for Elvis Costello and Pretty Lights, and we have an advertising arrangement with the particularly bountiful Laneway festival.

This week, I went a little nutty with the credit card and splashed out on Cat Power, Neil Young and Black Sabbath. I think Ozzy's solo work is dreck and Sabbath is really a treat for my son, but I thought I'd check out the current touring show on YouTube. Conclusion: it's GREAT.

Cat Power is -- duh -- a little less rock 'n' roll, but I'm looking forward to hearing the Sun songs played live.

Nice to see Pretty Lights is still playing 'Finally Moving', if only to remind people who actually had that Etta James sample first ...

How does the Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour sound? It's Neil Young and Crazy Horse -- how do you think it sounds?

And finally, Elvis Costello will be my first ever winery gig. We just looked and booked when we saw we could get seats in the third row. I may have to wander off and get a wine during one or two of the support acts ...

I hope he brings the Spectacular Spinning Songbook.

Feel free to find and post clips of the current tours of artists playing here  this summer. Just copy and paste in the YouTube or Vimeo URL and it'll embed automagically. Or just, y'know, do whatever ...

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